Writer/director Jordan's film tracing the career of Irish Republican hero Michael Collins, from the Easter Rising to his death in 1922, depicts a man whose belief in violence is finally transformed by the horrors of civil war into a desire for peace. It's a dense, stirring tale, with Collins (Neeson) under threat from both the English and his compatriots. Is Ned Broy (Rea) a spy or an ally working from within Dublin Castle? How serious is his split with Eamon De Valera (Rickman), who prefers to fight on for a Republic than settle temporarily for the Free State brokered by Collins? And what of bosom pal Harry Boland (Quinn), who feels personally betrayed when his girl Kitty (Roberts) transfers her affections to Collins? This is Jordan's most ambitious and satisfying movie a thriller with a real sense of scale, pace, menace and moral import. With the exception of Rickman's awesomely mannered De Valera, the performances are top notch (even Roberts makes a decent stab at the romantic interest, incarnating the ideological fall-out between Collins and Boland), while Chris Menges' camerawork and Anthony Pratt's designs perfectly evoke a country falling apart with no one, it seems, able to halt the tragedy.
Cast and crew